Spades or (four-colour suit) is one of the four suits of playing cards in the standard French deck. It is a black heart turned upside down with a stalk at its base and symbolises the pike or halberd, two medieval weapons.
In French the suit of Spades is known as the Pique and in German as the Pik. It corresponds to the suit of Leaves (Laub, Grün, Schippen or, in Bavaria, Gras) in the German suited playing cards. In Switzerland, the suit is known as Schuufle ("shovel") and in many German regions, e.g. the Rhineland as Schüppe/Schippe ("shovel").
The French name for this suit, pique ("pike"), meant, in the 14th century, a weapon formed by an iron spike placed at the end of a pike. For playing cards, the term may have been coined by analogy with the Latin symbol from which it is derived, the sword.
In other languages, the term is usually derived from pique: German: Pik, Spanish: picas, Romanian: pică, Russian: пики, Czech: piky, Italian: picche etc. Sometimes it is an adaptation of "sword", hence the English name, Spades, and the Portuguese espadas.
The spade symbol is a very stylized spearhead shape, pointing upwards, the bottom widening into two arcs of a circle and sweeping towards the centre to then form a sort of foot.
|Symbol||Unicode||Entity in HTML|
|♠||U+2660 BLACK SPADE SUIT|
|♤||U+2664 WHITE SPADE SUIT|
The French word pique meant "spear" or "lance".
- "Pique". Centre national de ressources textuelles et lexicales.